Martin Biron stopped 36 of 38 shots and RJ Umberger contributed 2 more goals as the Flyers downed the Habs by a score of 4 - 2 in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series. The Flyers now lead the series 3 games to 1 and can end the series on Saturday in La Belle Provence.
There was a huge surprise revealed before the game as the Canadiens chose to start rookie Jaroslav Halak in goal over rookie franchise goalie Carey Price. I have to think Price is hurt, because the Habs put all of their eggs in Price's basket when they traded away Cristobal Huet.
This game closely resembled the last couple of games, with Montreal maintaining territorial control of the ice, only to have Biron turn them aside time and time again. The first period was completely dominated by Martin Biron, who stopped 14 shots in the period. Halak was tested early, on a Jeff Carter breakaway, which he turned aside rather confidently.
The second period began much the same way as the first, but after Umberger scored on the power play for the 1 - 0 lead, the Canadiens seemed to sag and you could make a credible argument that the Flyers established themselves much better in the Montreal zone.
The third period was played fairly evenly and the Flyers increased their lead to 2 - 0, when Scott Hartnell rammed home a rebound off of a Vinny Prospal shot that hit the intersection of the post and the crossbar. It was Hartnell's first goal in what seemed like forever.
With about 7 minutes left to play, Marty Biron's luck changed for the worse. A shot from the point was deflected past Biron by Derian Hatcher to cut the Flyer lead to 1 and just 37 seconds later, Saku Koivu potted the tying goal. Instead of playing tentatively, the Flyers picked up the pace and eventually, earned a power play in the form of a stupid interference penalty taken by Steve Begin.
Danny Briere made Montreal pay by scoring on the power play on one of those goals from the side of the net, where he elevates the puck in a tight space past the goalie. You know the type of goal....the type he scored against the Flyers like a billion times over the course of the past couple years when he was with Buffalo. The Flyers made that goal standup and eventually, RJ Umberger added an empty netter to put the icing on the cake.
You have to hope that the Flyers learned from the Washington series and will put all of their effort into finishing this series in Game 5 in Montreal this Saturday.
Did you notice?
- Mike Knuble returned and looked like he didn't miss a beat. So much for catching up to the pace of the game.
- Good to see Vinny Prospal show up tonite....2 assists for Prospal and that line had a little more energy tonite than earlier in the series.
- Mike Richards pasted one of the Kostitsyn brothers behind their own net in the 3rd period?
- Derian Hatcher looks pig-dog slow out on the ice and it especially showed in the 37 second stretch where Montreal scored their two goals. Like Jason Smith in the last series, Derian Hatcher is not helping this team right now.
- Anyone catch that cool picture of Jim Dowd that was shown during the Flyer broadcast that showed a team picture where every player picture was Dowd in one of the 10 or so uniforms he's worn in his NHL career? Dug around on the net for the picture, but couldn't find it. If I can post it, I'll will.....just like if I can find the Dave Mustaine vid.
- Alexei Kovalev stick his leg out and cause a knee-on-knee collision on RJ Umberger that went uncalled in the 3rd?